Major League Gaming made their 360 no-scope entrance into the Overwatch scene with an all-American eight team invitational tournament held alongside the Call of Duty World League event at MLG Vegas.
The three day tournament will run from the 16th - 18th December and features America's best Overwatch teams battling it our for the $100,000 prize pool, divided as so:
- 1st - $40,000
- 2nd - $20,000
- 3rd/4th - $12,000
- 5th/6th - $5,000
- 7th/8th - $3,000
The eight teams have been split into two groups of four and will play in GSL-style brackets in best-of-threes. The top two teams will progress to the Semifinals where they will play a best-of-five to move on to the Grand Final, which will be best-of-seven. All maps have been predetermined and can be found on the schedule below.
Friday 16th December
- 15:00 PST / 00:00 CET / 08:00 KST - Group A – Fnatic vs Rise Nation - King's Row, Nepal, Dorado
- 16:30 PST / 01:30 CET / 09:30 KST - Group B – FaZe Clan vs Team Liquid – Hollywood, Ilios, Numbani
- 18:00 PST / 03:00 CET / 11:00 KST - Group B – NRG vs Cloud9 - Hollywood, Ilios, Numbani
Saturday 17th December
- 10:30 PST / 19:30 CET / 03:30 KST - Group A – compLexity vs EnVyUs - King's Row, Nepal, Dorado
- 12:00 PST / 21:00 CET / 05:00 KST - Group B Losers Match – King's Row, Nepal, Dorado
- 13:30 PST / 22:30 CET / 06:30 KST - Group A Losers Match – Hollywood, Ilios, Numbani
- 15:00 PST / 00:00 CET / 08:00 KST - Group B Winners Match – King's Row, Nepal, Dorado
- 16:30 PST / 01:30 CET / 09:30 KST - Group A Winners Match – Hollywood, Ilios, Numbani
- 18:00 PST / 03:00 CET / 11:00 KST - Group A Decider Match – Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Nepal, Route 66
- 19:30 PST / 04:30 CET / 12:30 KST - Group B Decider Match – Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Nepal, Route 66
Sunday 18th December
- 11:00 PST / 20:00 CET / 04:00 KST - Semifinal #1 - Dorado, Ilios, King's Row, Volskaya, Watchpoint: Gibraltar
- 13:00 PST / 22:00 CET / 06:00 KST - Semifinal #2 - Dorado, Ilios, King's Row, Volskaya, Watchpoint: Gibraltar
- 15:00 PST / 00:00 CET / 08:00 KST - Grand Final - Numbani, Nepal, Hollywood, Temple of Anubis, Route 66, Ilios, Dorado
We will see a host of familiar faces casting, including MonteCristo and DoA fresh from South Korea with much of the onscreen talent from the Overwatch World Cup. Alongside the analysis desk regulars, Overwatch Guru flame will be making his much anticipated debut.
The MLG Vegas observer team will also feature talent from the Overwatch World Cup crew, to help guide us through the matches. You can be sure the camera is in safe hands with this team:
- Seamus "Seamoose" Anderson - Director
- Alex "Dashner" Pylyshyn - First Person Observer
- Kevin "kViNS" Swift - First Person Observer
- Daniel "Imagine" Tompos - Freecam Observer
- Maikol "Zietes" Brito - Freecam Observer
Lastly over.gg's Josh "Sideshow" Wilkinson will be at MLG Vegas with his camera and mic interviewing the superstars, following on from his content at DreamHack Winter Championships but this time with more blackjack and hookers.
- Jonathan "HarryHook" Tejedor Rua (DPS)
- Timo "Taimou" Kettunen (DPS)
- Pongphop "Mickie" Rattanasangohod (Flex)
- Christian "cocco" Jonsson (Tank)
- Sebastian "chipshajen" Widlund (Flex Support)
- Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka (Support)
Coming back from their OGN APEX Season 1 victory all eyes will be on the champions of South Korea. Discussion has been back and forth over whether EnVyUs are truly the world's best or benefited from a series of fortunate events that led to them being crowned in the East.
There is no doubt nV is still a roster stuffed with talent, but this time every other team knows what they are bringing to the party. Fielding predominantly the D.Va, Roadhog, and Soldier: 76 combo during the knockout stages at APEX, they will need something else to win back to back titles with the other big hitters at this event.
- Matthew "coolmatt69" Iorio (Flex dps)
- Casey "buds" McIlwaine (Flex dps)
- Hafþór "Hafficool" Hákonarson (Flex)
- Warsi Faraaz "Stoop" Waris (Tank)
- Scott "custa" Kennedy (Flex Support)
- Oliver "Vonethil" Lager (Support)
- Robert "Roflgator" Malecki (Coach)
Since starting their trial of Hafficool, Fnatic have looked rock solid as the Icelandic star performed well on D.Va with some brief forays on Genji. Fnatic have built off of a calm, collected, team orientated approach that allows them to perform consistently against every team they have faced.
They have come close to a trophy twice before, finishing second in the American bracket at the Overwatch Open (with iddqd) and more recently second at the DreamHack Winter Championship. They are in a tough group but will be looking to break their duck and take their first major tournament win. The Grand Final of DreamHack could have gone very differently if Misfits had not run a comp that punished custa's Zenyatta preference so hard. They will be looking to reassert themselves here.
- Adam "Spirit" Wills (DPS)
- Nathan "xRetzi" Telen (DPS)
- Mike "IVIidnight" Ryan (Flex)
- Keith "Desro" Hospedales (Tank)
- Samuel "Locke" Latina (Flex Support)
- Kyle "Phaz" Dornian (Support)
After being robbed of valuable LAN experience by the calamity that was MSI MGA recently, this will be the first major offline event for Rise Nation. Their online results don't particularly stand out but they have caused upsets against the other big players in America before and will be looking to do the same here.
Rise Nation are a team that has been together for a long time and their experience as a unit will help them going into MLG Vegas. While still definitely the underdogs in this group they will be keen to prove what they can do at offline events as they continue to try and break into America's elite. After all, they are undefeated at LAN.
- Jake "torkTJO" Lepoff (DPS)
- Nicolas "NicolasTJO" Aubin (DPS)
- Anthony "harbleu" Ballo (Flex)
- Joey "jkw" Wavering (Tank)
- Jack "Shake" Kaplan (Flex Support)
- Joe "Joemeister" Gramano (Support)
compLexity are a team that make it hard for their fans. They often show promise and have demonstrated the ability to upset some of the biggest teams in the world but all too often their lack of consistency stops them making it to the end of major tournaments.
coL are another team that have been together for a long time in Overwatch terms and will be desperate to prove they can hang with the big boys after going out to Misfits in disappointing fashion at DreamHack Winter. With Roadhog being a must pick going into this tournament (pending any curve balls in the upcoming patch) this should be harbleu's time to shine, but they will need to play as a unit to enable him.
- Lane "Surefour" Roberts (DPS)
- Lucas "Mendokusai" Håkansson (DPS)
- Kyle "KyKy" Souder (Flex)
- Ruben "ryb" Ljungdahl (Tank)
- Randal "Roolf" Stark (Flex Support)
- Adam "Adam” Eckel (Support)
Ever since the inception of this new look Cloud9 team, fans have been chomping at the bit to see them at a major offline event. Many think that, with these changes, C9 will be able to reclaim their place as one of America's best teams. In the run up to MLG Vegas they have had a string of online tournament wins and recently qualified for the next stage of the NGE Winter Premiere.
The biggest question for them is whether they can replicate this at LAN. Avoiding EnVyUs and Fnatic will give them an easier start to the tournament but to really prove themselves they will need to make the Grand Finals. With one of the best players in the world in the form of Surefour they will always have a chance, but only time will tell if the Cloud9 squad can live up to their clout.
- Erik "TwoEasy" van Hoorn (DPS)
- George "ShaDowBurn" Gushcha (DPS)
- Jared "zombs" Gitlin (Flex)
- Russell "FCTFCTN" Campbell (Tank)
- Shane "Rawkus" Flaherty (Flex Support)
- Viktors "Forsak3n" Bernevs (Flex Support)
FaZe show glimpses of brilliance; if we cast our minds back to the Overwatch Open they made a great run back in Group B, eliminating REUNITED and Dignitas before pushing Rogue all the way in a five map thriller. Since then FaZe have been hit and miss in online tournaments, but much of this could be attributed to the fact that half their team is on a different continent and are always playing with a ping disadvantage.
The most recent patch has also put them in an awkward situation as they try and accommodate zombs onto a DPS role as their best Soldier: 76, forcing ShaDowBurn onto D.Va. FaZe still seem unable to settle on a hero composition that suits them but they definitely have the tools to make it work. With some of the best individual talent around, FaZe could be a real dark horse in this tournament if they step it up on LAN again.
- Kevin "AZK" Lariviere (DPS)
- Andrew "iid" Trulli (DPS)
- Shane "rapha" Hendrixson (Flex)
- Adam "MESR" De La Torre (Tank)
- Tim "DaHanG" Fogarty (Flex Support)
- John "Minstrel" Fisher (Support)
Despite some notable players from previous games, Team Liquid have struggled to make an impact in the Overwatch scene as of yet. An early exit from the Overwatch Open followed by a string of mediocre online results has seen this team fade into obscurity recently.
Their roster suggests more potential than they have produced up until this point. Recent matches at the NGE Winter Premiere have seen better results with MESR playing a hyper aggressive Reinhardt. This could be the start of the revival Team Liquid need. We have not seen them at a major offline event since the Overwatch Open; with no expectations on them to make a deep run in this tournament, they could overperform and surprise a lot of people.
- Brandon "Seagull" Larned (DPS)
- Matthew “clockwork” Dias (DPS)
- Carl "enigma" Yangsheng (Flex)
- Sebastian “numlocked” Barton (Tank)
- Tim "dummy" Olson (Flex Support)
- Yomar "milo" Toledo (Support)
- Sam "oPlaiD" Lingle (Coach/Manager)
A chorus of "When does Seagull play?" follows every tournament NRG enter. The Overwatch celebrity has brought a healthy following to NRG but so far they have struggled to live up to expectations. This is the new look NRG with numlocked and clockwork though, and as milo has moved to Lucio this will be a different NRG once again. New coach oPlaiD has been working hard with his team to improve since joining too.
We saw glimpses of how NRG wanted to play at APEX with some intelligent positioning but they lacked the synergy to pull it off. In APEX they had to play with no preparation time due to making the changes during the World Cup, so this will be their first real test and a great opportunity to prove they can once again be one of the major forces in American Overwatch.